Thursday, September 20, 2007

What Can You Do?

Here’s a short article on some non-obvious things we can do to reduce our contribution to global warming. Some of the things that I will do or are already doing:

I will figure out how to log in to my work network so I can check on my simulations from home in the evenings, instead of driving all the way back to work (it’s only 3 miles round trip, but every bit counts). I also have a laptop that I shut down so it doesn’t stay on all night.

I will try to ride my bike to work at least three times a week.

We have all of the chargers for our cell phones, palm pilot, etc., on a power strip so that we can turn off the power strip when nothing is charging. It was recently reported that cell phone chargers and the like consume electricity even when they are not charging a phone.

I try to wash and reuse the thick freezer Ziploc bags instead of throwing them out (if I can).

We tend to keep our home pretty cold and try to get through the winter without using the heater (we learned this from our parents). This can be a challenge because our apartment is super drafty (in the late morning it can be warmer outside than inside) and none of the sliding glass doors (which we have 4 of in our townhouse) close properly. We survive by wearing warm sweaters, hats, and using blankets (when we watch tv, etc.). If we get too cold, then we use a space heater so that only the area we are in gets warmed.

In the summer we close all the blinds so that the sun stays out and the house stays cooler. It really works.

We always let our dishes air dry in the dishwasher.

Other ideas that are a bigger challenge:

I need to change my exercise routine so that I run 1.5 miles to the gym, lift weights, and then run 1.5 miles back home, instead of driving to the gym, running 3-4 miles on the treadmill, lifting weights, and driving home.

I need to take shorter showers.

We need to be better about planning our grocery shopping so we don’t end up driving to the grocery store 3-4 times a week.

We have a great farmers market in our city (about 1.5 miles away). We should shop there more often and ride our bikes to the market.

I will try to eat less meat (and by default so will my husband). We already eat only meat that is humanely raised but we can better and eat less meat. We have a lot of great vegetarian recipes that we should make more often.

Slate has a great series of weekly articles on ideas to be more green and reduce CO2 emissions.

So what can you do?

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